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Ashtabula in Ashtabula County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Ashtabula River

From Shipping Mecca to Contaminated Waterway to Revitalized Harbor

 
 
The Ashtabula River Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 13, 2019
1. The Ashtabula River Marker
Inscription.  More than 400 years ago, the Iroquois and Algonquin Native American tribes settled in the Ashtabula River basin, and named the river "Hash-tah-buh-lah"—"river of many fish."

The Ashtabula River became a shipping hub over the following centuries. Expanding industrial uses brought environmental degradation that reduced harbor activity.

Up to 19 industrial facilities operated near Fields Brook during the height of the industry in the 1950s, producing metal products and chemicals. A lack of environmental regulations led to unregulated discharges of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) into Fields Brook, seriously contaminated the Ashtabula River.

In the 1970s, passage of the Clean Water Act improved water quality considerably, but sediments remained contaminated in both waterways. Fields Brook was remediated in 1996 under the federal Superfund program, but safe removal of the contaminated Ashtabula River sediments remained a challenge. Ashtabula River was named one of the 43 most contaminated areas of concern in the Great Lakes. The Ashtabula River Remedial Action Plan (RAP), organized in 1988, continued
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to work on the river contamination.
 
Erected by The Ashtabula River Partnership.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EnvironmentIndustry & CommerceNative AmericansWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1996.
 
Location. 41° 54.027′ N, 80° 47.892′ W. Marker is in Ashtabula, Ohio, in Ashtabula County. Marker is at the intersection of Bridge Street (Ohio Route 531) and Morton Drive, on the right when traveling west on Bridge Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ashtabula OH 44004, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ashtabula Harbor Commercial District (a few steps from this marker); 1001 (within shouting distance of this marker); 1003 (within shouting distance of this marker); 1005 (within shouting distance of this marker); 1006 (within shouting distance of this marker); 1009 (within shouting distance of this marker); 1012 (within shouting distance of this marker); 1010 (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ashtabula.
 
The Ashtabula River Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 13, 2019
2. The Ashtabula River Marker
Additional plaque nearby image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 13, 2019
3. Additional plaque nearby
Additional plaque nearby image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 13, 2019
4. Additional plaque nearby
Additional plaque on the building image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 13, 2019
5. Additional plaque on the building
Nearby dedication plaque image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 13, 2019
6. Nearby dedication plaque
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 17, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 322 times since then and 80 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 17, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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May. 24, 2024